Former Tennessee running back Arian Foster put the Vols and the NCAA back into the spotlight on Thursday when he told The Dan LeBatard Show he received between $40,000 and $50,000 throughout his career at Tennessee.
This wasn’t the first time Foster, now a running back with the Houston Texans, had claimed he was paid in college. Back in 2013, Foster told Sports Illustrated he had been “getting money on the side” while in school, but he did not specify how much.
“You have people help you out here and there,” Foster told The Dan LeBatard Show. “Boosters and alumni and ex-players, they all know how it is, man. It's hard living check to check when you don't have enough money to go out to the movies or any kind of leisure activity. And you're not allowed to get a job. Especially when I was in college, they were a lot more stringent on those rules, so at any given chance I got the opportunity, I took a free handout. Absolutely.”
Foster also claimed he met his wife, Romina, through an agent. He said the agent was trying to sign both students as Romina was singing in a girl’s group. Foster said the agent took the two out on a boat in Chattanooga to “wine and dine us. It was definitely illegal by NCAA standards.” Foster did not end up signing with that agent.
However, on Friday, one of Foster’s former teammates, linebacker Ryan Karl, linked to Foster’s interview on his Facebook page and called out his former teammate.
“So Arian Foster I gotta call you out here,” Karl wrote. “You’re my boy, but you did not get $40-50k from boosters while at UT. Shoot, you were as broke as me in college driving a crap car living in a crap apartment - like us all. Also, these claims of being wined and dined by agents is a big stretch too. You are a baller now but at the time, you were a risky pick with who ended up being a free agent. Quit trying to grab attention while throwing your school under the bus.”
Not surprisingly, Foster even started to backpedal on his comment, claiming on Twitter that he never received the amount of money he claimed.
Vol fans, it was a joke. I didn't get no where near 50k.
— Feeno (@ArianFoster) January 30, 2015
Whether Foster was joking or not, it is important to note that Foster has stuck with his story since 2013, even if he’s not being entirely truthful about the amount.
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